Solar Powered Chipolo Wallet Tracker
If you have ever experienced the gut-wrenching feeling of a lost wallet, then you understand the power of a wallet tracker. The EKSTER tracker card accessory combines solar-powered charging with a credit card-sized device. Utilize the features of the chipolo app to ring your wallet or the wallet to reverse ring your phone (even when in silent mode). For Android users, the chipolo features may be preferred. For the Apple lovers, perhaps the AirTag Wallet may be more your style. Either way, EKSTER has your wallet needs covered.
- EASE OF USE
Ekster’s Add-on Wallet Tracker for your minimalist wallet.
The EKSTER Tracker Card arrived in a 3 inches wide by 4 13/16 inches tall by 1/4 inches thick package. The back panel provided a shiny E within a shield outline, a statement thanking the user, and a small white sticker that provided the name, SKU barcode, and product manufacturing labels. The front panel sported the classic shiny black EKSTER name/logo upon a matte black background.
I appreciated the regality of the “E” shield, the Rotterdam/New York name, and the presence of the dual magpie outlines. As a person who loves to learn the deeper meaning and symbolism of things, I appreciated the nuanced meaning. In this case, magpies can symbolize intelligence, wit, and resourcefulness as positive features but may also represent deceit, opportunism, and illusion. Luckily, I have grown to appreciate the former with the EKSTER brand.
I gripped the thumb cutouts and removed the inner cardboard tray from the outer shell. The 2 1/8 inches wide by 3 3/8 inches tall by 1/16 inches thick device weighed only 0.5 ounces. The front panel provided a 1 9/16 inches wide by 7/8 inches tall solar charging array atop an attractive geometric cube background.
At the center of the panel, you will find a 17/32 inches diameter button with “E” shield etched into the surface. The rear surface provided the “E” shield and EKSTER name, a “FIND WITH chipolo” logo, and product manufacturing labels in matte rustic gold font. Please note the presence of instructions on the inner surface of the inner tray, before throwing away the packaging:
- Download and install the chipolo App on Google and App Stores.
- Follow the in-app steps to set up the EKSTER tracker.
- Visit EKSTER.com/usermanual for more information.
I navigated to the App store, searched for the chipolo App, and then downloaded the 4.5* Application. The main App screen provided the chipolo name at the top, a welcome statement, a “NEXT” oval green button, and the ability to log in or skip. If you swipe left/right on the main screen, you can learn several features of the tracker app/devices. If you already have an account, you can choose to log in.
Since I already had an account, I did not choose to create a new one. I selected “add device,” “Card,” activated Bluetooth, and placed the device by my phone. I pressed the button and found that it did not pair; the card played the jingle but did not pair. I tried again, by holding the button, and found the technique allowed successful pairing. The App asked the user to press the button on the App to ring the device, and then requested the user to press the button on the device to ring the phone.
You can adjust several features of the App to cause your phone to ring even when in silent, and can select when to search for devices (App only, never, always). Additionally, the app suggested leaving the settings at “Always” if you want to have updated features.
My previous “Big Skinny” wallet allowed me to carry an obscene amount of items. Tired of a bulky front pocket show, I moved most of the cards to STOCARD and to the Apple Wallet, and pared down the bulk to move to the EKSTER Aluminum Cardholder. I added the tracker to the inside of my Aluminum Cardholder Graphite wallet and found that it took the place of ~1.5 cards.
Due to the minimalist nature of the wallet, I struggled to optimize further beyond the base six that the slot would hold. With two credit cards, an insurance card, dental card, auto/home insurance card, and a driver’s license, I had very little wiggle room to accommodate the tracker. I decided to place the tracker against the expandable backplate and found the location/option to be superior to the internal position.
I was able to use the App, search the App, and find the card, all without sacrificing the needed card space further. The jingle can be changed, you can use the app to access navigation, and add “Ring Ekster” “Stop ringing EKSTER” to Siri functionality.
The thin EKSTER card is a nice rival to the Tile Slim device and to the base Chipolo Cards but is only as good as the network. The main downside to the Chipolo linked device is that it does not pair with the Apple “Find My” ecosystem like the Chipolo Card Spot. Since most of my devices (MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad Pro 12.9”, AirPods Pro) are Apple devices, I have started to utilize AirTags instead of other trackers; I have moved away from the various Apps/logins and prefer the easy-to-use AirTags.
Since Apple does not yet have an AirTag Slim or AirTag Wallet, I would honestly prefer to purchase a chipolo device over the solar rechargeable Ekster card. Actually, after searching the website, the AirTag Wallet would be my choice.
I liked the shape, the dimensions, and the addition of the solar charger to the base card tracker. Unfortunately, the device is not powerful enough to drive me to use the chipolo app over the Apple network. I have used the card over the past two months and have not yet had to recharge the battery.
It is important to note that there are no ports to charge the device and you will have to use the sun to keep the device charged. The website promised up to 2 months of charge with a 3 hour solar session. For those who want to create a better carbon footprint, this may decrease the amount of e-waste/battery waste. I did test the ring phone and ring wallet features several times over multiple days.
I activated the photo feature within the App to test the “selfie feature” and quickly realized that I have not needed a shutter feature in the last five years. Some may find this feature useful, but I did not.
At the time of this review, the EKSTER website provided a 20% discount on their flagship wallets. If you have chosen a non-Apple Ecosystem, the EKSTER card will significantly enhance/protect your wallet experience. For those that are Apple-centric, you can purchase a Chipolo Card Spot from the website directly to utilize the “Find MY” feature.
I do not have any other chipolo devices; I have not tested the device and I cannot attest that it will fit inside of the Ekster wallet. However, the outer retention plate should allow the device to work with my Aluminum wallet. Therefore, if you already had an EKSTER wallet, you can expand your options with this card. If you are looking to upgrade your accessories, consider purchasing a new wallet that allows AirTag integration.